JRPGs that Aren't Final Fantasy Catch-All 2.0

I'm deep into Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia and I'm loving it. I'm playing on classic, hard, without any of the rewind mechanics and it feels like a great mix of classic and modern Fire Emblem. Being the final 3DS release, it's clear they really started to understand how to make these games work on the system. The art is gorgeous, everything is voice acted surprisingly well, and the 3D animations are fantastic.

Being a remake of Fire Emblem Gaiden, it's surprising to see just how much of the core mechanics still hold up well today. While the maps are a little too open-ended for the most part, they're functional enough and some are surprisingly enjoyable. The two different parties you play as have wildly different battles too!

Because I lost a few characters early on, I've had to spend a considerable amount of time grinding just to pass some of the harder levels. This really threw out the pacing, but it's not something I can truly criticize since I did it to myself (I could have used the rewind mechanic or reset the game - but I genuinely enjoy the thrill of permanent death).

Fire Emblem (GBA) has always been my favourite, but this might just topple it. Such a fantastic game.

Fired up Child of Light on Switch yesterday. Beautiful game still years later, and interesting ATB system with cast interrupt.

Not very far in, just level 4 or something, chapter 2, and picked up a spell for Aurora. Seems like you can use the battle plants to top of health/MP super easy. Maybe I should switch to hard mode?

I am COMMITED to finishing this games YES YES YES AND YES

1. Lost Oddysey
2. Nier Automata

I have played both.
I will probably finish Nijer 1st then restart LO

PSA

Having 2 toddlers and a 8 month old is a tornado and madness!!!!

So I haven't had a good opportunity to resume it, but am about 2/3rds of the way through the first campaign of Scarlet Nexus sponsored by Xbox Game Pass.

It's a weird little specimen that simultaneously feels better than it is and not as good as it is, if that makes sense. The combat is certainly neat, a combination of Control-style object tossing and mixed with melee strikes. The dodging mechanic is near worthless unless you get a perfectly timed evasion, which is more difficult to pull off with a lack of dodge-cancel. However, if you immediately go from a melee combo to kinesis throws, the character will immediately jump backwards and away from the enemy. So if you time it well, you can get a couple hits in, kinesis to evade any attacks, then immediately lunge back in with more melee, rinse and repeat. It doesn't work for all enemy types and you'll need to learn some of their attack patterns, but it helps evade damage, for sure.

The real draw is figuring out how to best drop an enemy's... uh... stamina? poise? bar (if you played Nioh, think the not-health bar that allows you to get super painful hits). Once you drain it you can pull off an immediate execution on most standard foes, or deal major damage to bosses. Some enemies have specific moments of vulnerability where you can hit them with kinesis to really drain this bar down, and you can knock these foes down typically through clever use of your teammates' abilities during certain phases. For example, enemies that cloak get knocked down once you use Clairvoyance to reveal their location and you strike.

Once your bond with teammates strengthens, you can then call them in for a couple quick hits in the heat of combat. Chain these attacks together and you'll drain their stamina/poise bar even faster.

There's some neat decisions, but it's still lacking some top notch character-action polish to feel like the game is always doing what you want, and some of the encounters are just designed around some frustrating groupings of foes. Most irritating is the nature of the bosses, as the fights can be interesting but they're total damage sponges. If there's a quicker way of dropping either health or stamina, I haven't figured it out.

The story might be the biggest draw, though not necessarily for its quality. It moves at a fast pace and is so filled with twists that get more and more... well, this game goes places, that's for sure. It makes it a bit fun, and while the cast is pretty archetype-y none of them feel obnoxious (save for "I hate you because I'm better than you" guy), so they end up being pretty pleasant as well.

It's an overall enjoyable game, but at the same time I feel like it's going to be quite forgettable by time I finish.

Compile Heart: We're announcing a new Neptunia game that isn't a crossover!

Me: Woo! About time!

Compile Heart: It stars the CPU's sisters!

Me: OMG! You remembered they exist! And you're giving them the lead role!

Compile Heart: Hyperdimension Neptunia: Sisters vs Sisters

Me: Uh oh...